Claire Foy was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith in Netflix drama 'The Crown', despite having more screen time.

The 33-year-old actress starred as Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons in the drama which details the life of the monarch, and it has now been revealed that she was paid significantly less than Matt, who had less screen time in his role as the monarch's husband, Prince Philip.

The pay gap emerged during Variety magazine's talk with producer Suzanne Mackie and fellow executive producer Andy Harries at a media conference in Jerusalem.

The producers claim that rather than a gender issue, the pay gap came as Claire was an unknown actress when she accepted the lead role, whereas 35-year-old Matt had achieved global success for starring as the titular character in the long running sci-fi hit 'Doctor Who' from 2009 to 2013.

Claire won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, and was reportedly paid £30,000 an episode, though at the time of writing, Matt's salary has not been made public.

Both Claire and Matt will be replaced by different stars when 'The Crown' returns for its third season, as the show is set to jump forward in time to portray the monarch and her husband at a later stage in their lives.

And producer Suzanne has vowed to end the pay gap for the new series, which will see Olivia Coleman take the reins as the Queen.

Suzanne told Variety: ''Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.''

'The Crown' had a lavish budget, with each episode costing around £5 million to make, but the producers insist that money was seen ''on the screen'', rather than in pay packets.

Last year, Claire noted: ''You couldn't have made the show on a budget. There's no way of doing it, and I think that's what Netflix signed up for - to make something ambitious, expansive and vast.''